How can I find my Contacts back?

Quick Answers

If you have lost your contacts, there are a few options to try to get them back:

  • Check your email account if you synced contacts – Email services like Gmail store synced contacts.
  • Check your cloud backup like iCloud or Google account if you had automatic backups enabled.
  • Use a contacts recovery app to scan your device for residual contact data.
  • Contact your cell phone carrier if you stored contacts on your SIM card.
  • Use social media to search for lost contacts and reconnect.

Recovering lost contacts quickly comes down to retracing your steps to locations where they may have synced or backed up automatically. With some effort, you can likely recover most if not all of your missing contact information.

Check Email Services

One of the first places to check for synced contacts is your email account. Many people sync their phone contacts to email providers like Gmail.

If you had contact syncing enabled on an email account, you may find your missing contacts are still safely stored in your email contacts. Log into your email on a computer and check your contacts list.

Here are some of the most popular email providers to check for synced contacts:

  • Gmail – Log into your Gmail account on the web. Click Contacts on the left menu. See if your lost contacts are there.
  • iCloud – iCloud syncs contacts across Apple devices. Log into and check contacts.
  • Outlook/Hotmail – Sign in to your Outlook or Hotmail account and go to People to view contacts.
  • Yahoo – Log in to Yahoo Mail and click Contacts on the left side to see if your missing contacts exist.

If you find your contacts in your email account, you can usually export or download them to restore them back to your device.

Syncing Contacts to Email

If you use an email provider like Gmail or Outlook, it’s a good idea to make sure contact syncing is enabled so your contacts automatically back up to your email account.

Here are some steps to enable contact syncing with Gmail:

  1. Open the Gmail app on your phone.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu in the top left.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap your account name.
  5. Scroll down and tap Sync Contacts.
  6. Tap the switch to enable contact syncing.

Repeat a similar process for each email provider you use to make sure contacts are always backed up.

Check Cloud Backups

If you had your contacts set to backup to a cloud service, check there for your missing contacts.

Here are some places online to look for cloud-synced contacts:

  • iCloud – iCloud automatically backs up contacts for Apple devices. Check
  • Google account – Android devices may backup contacts to your Google account. Check
  • Microsoft account – Windows devices can backup contacts to your Microsoft account. Lookup contacts at
  • SIM card – Contacts may be stored on your SIM card from your phone carrier.

If you find your contacts in the cloud, you can usually restore them to your device.

Enabling Cloud Backup

To avoid losing contacts in the future, ensure you enable automatic cloud contact backup:


  1. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud
  2. Tap Contacts to enable iCloud contact syncing

Android/Google Account

  1. Open the Contacts app
  2. Tap the hamburger menu in the top left
  3. Tap Settings > Accounts
  4. Tap Auto-sync data to enable contact backup

Having an automatic cloud backup for your contacts serves as a great safety net if you ever lose your phone or contacts again.

Use a Contacts Recovery App

If you can’t find your missing contacts through email or the cloud, your next option is to use a contacts recovery app.

How Contact Recovery Apps Work

Contact recovery apps scan your phone to extract residual data from call logs, SMS messages, social media, and other sources to rebuild lost contacts.

They perform a “deep scan” to recover as much contact information as possible, including names, phone numbers, emails, addresses, and more.

Popular Contact Recovery Apps

Some top-rated contact recovery apps include:

  • FoneDog Toolkit – Recovers lost contacts from Android and iOS devices. Has both free and paid tools.
  • dr.fone – Provides full contact recovery for iOS and Android. Has a free trial.
  • PhoneRescue – Specialized iOS contact recovery tool. Can restore contacts from iCloud.

These apps provide an easy way to restore missing contacts from your device directly.

Using FoneDog Toolkit (Example)

Here is how you would restore lost contacts with FoneDog Toolkit as an example:

  1. Download and install FoneDog Toolkit on your computer.
  2. Connect your phone to the computer via USB.
  3. Open FoneDog Toolkit and select the Recover option.
  4. Tap the Scan button to scan your device for recoverable contacts.
  5. Preview the found contacts and select those you want to recover.
  6. Choose where to save the recovered contacts.

With just those few steps, you can extract contacts from your phone and get them back instantly.

Contact Your Phone Carrier

If you previously stored contacts on your SIM card from your phone carrier, you may be able to recover contacts by contacting customer support.

Your cell carrier keeps records of contacts saved to your SIM card. Tell them you lost your contacts and need to restore from a backup.

Depending on the carrier, they may be able to send you a backup file or set up your new phone with the SIM contacts.

What Info to Provide Your Carrier

When asking your carrier to restore SIM card contacts, they will likely need:

  • Your full name and phone number
  • Your account PIN or password
  • Date you activated your SIM card

With this info, they can lookup your account and check for a SIM card contact backup.

Sample Carrier Contact Request

Here is a sample message you can use to contact your cell provider about recovering SIM contacts:

“Hi, I recently lost all the contacts stored on my SIM card and need to restore them from a backup. My account name is [Your Name] and my phone number is [Your Number]. I originally activated service on [Date]. Please let me know if you have a backup of my SIM contacts that can be restored to my new phone. I appreciate any help you can provide.”

Hopefully your carrier can pull your SIM data and get you backups of the contacts.

Search Social Media

If all else fails, you can try manually finding lost contacts again through social media.

Search for contact names on networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Once you find them, you can either message them for their contact info again or just add them as friends directly to regain access.

Tips for Social Media Contact Search

Here are some tips to optimize social media searches to reconnect with lost contacts:

  • Try different name spellings and variations.
  • Search by email or username if you recall.
  • Use advanced search filters if available.
  • Check all social networks to cover your bases.
  • If you find contacts, message them about the loss politely.

Cast a wide net across social media sites to maximize your chances of finding your important contacts again.

Sample Social Media Contact Request

When messaging old contacts about reconnecting, politely explain your situation and make a request.

“Hi [name], I recently lost all my contacts and I’m trying to reconnect with people. I would greatly appreciate if you could send me your contact information again when you have a moment. Sorry for the trouble and hope you’re doing well!”

Most people are happy to provide their contact info again if it means staying in touch with an old friend or colleague.

Prevent Future Contact Loss

After recovering your contacts, be sure to take steps to prevent ever losing them again:

  • Sync contacts – Sync your contacts to email and the cloud automatically.
  • Export contacts – Periodically export an extra backup of contacts to your computer.
  • Phish for numbers – Ask for contact details again from important people.
  • Record elsewhere – Keep a written record of VIPs in an address book.

Following these best practices will help ensure you have multiple redundant copies of your contacts easily accessible.


Losing all your contacts can be stressful, but hope is not lost! With a few simple steps, you can often get back most if not all of your missing contact information:

  • Check synced email accounts like Gmail or iCloud.
  • Look for automated cloud backups to services like Google and iCloud.
  • Use a contacts recovery app to extract residual data from your phone.
  • Contact your cell carrier about SIM card backups.
  • Search social networks to reconnect one-by-one.

Set up ongoing contact syncing and backups so this never happens again. With some effort, you can recover your contacts and stay connected.